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Air Canada Gets a Gold Star for Rolling Back Fees

Those of you who live in Canada got a nice dose of gold star-worthy airline goodness yesterday when Air Canada announced it was rolling back some fees and other airlines followed with reductions of their own. Fuel prices are down, so it’s always nice to see an airline actually repeal something that it had previously said was put in place because of high fuel prices. Something tells me we won’t see that happening here in the US very often, if at all.

goldstarLet’s get a little more specific here. Air Canada announced that it would stop charging the $25 second bag fee that it put into place in May due to high fuel costs. It was also announced that the fuel surcharges would be rolled into the base fare going forward. Lastly, the airline said that excess bag fees would be simplified to be a flat $75 per piece for oversized or overweight (or both) and $100 per excess bag (which would not require additional payment if it was oversize or overweight). This is a reduction from the current $100 fee for each limit that is violated. (This is confusing. Get the details here.)

If that wasn’t enough to make the Canadians happy, WestJet (and Porter) decided to one-up Air Canada by eliminating their fuel surcharges altogether. WestJet said it best . . . “WestJet eliminates fuel surcharge – because we said we would.”

Well, how’s that for a round of good news? I have to say that it’s rare we see several airlines actually keep their word here. I know that some airlines institute these baggage fees because they want to change their business model to a more a la carte-style. That’s fine, and I wouldn’t expect those to change. But for those airlines that make changes while blaming high fuel prices, they really should act responsibly and reduce those fees when oil prices come back down. Unfortunately, most of them won’t, but kudos are certainly due to the Canadians.

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